Dame di Cartone: Artist recreates fashion through the ages using cardboard outfits


Dame di Cartone: Artist recreates fashion through the ages using cardboard outfits

When Christian Tagliavini, decided to recreate fashion trends from throughout the ages as part of a new art project, he was not worried about how he would get hold of the right costumes.

The Swiss-Italian photographer had already decided that he would make the costumes himself – out of cardboard.

The Dame di Cartone ('Cardboard Ladies') collection includes portraits of women that mimic the look of historical paintings by imitating how people dressed at the time.

Cardboard lady: One of Christian Tagliavini's works which focuses on 17th Century fashion

Cardboard lady: One of Christian Tagliavini's works which focuses on 17th Century fashion

More 17th century style: These models show the wide necks, tiny waists and big skirts that exemplified fashion at the time

More 17th century style: These models show the wide necks, tiny waists and big skirts that exemplified fashion at the time

More 17th century style: These models show the wide necks, tiny waists and big skirts that exemplified fashion at the time

The styles include 17th century, the Fifties, and cubism – but while the faces presented are those of real models, their angular outfits were all cut from different coloured cardboard.

Using cardboard and paper instead
of fabric allows Tagliavini to take command of the complete creative process, from the patterning, to creating the outfit and finally taking the photograph.

The entire process is a labour of love, and Tagliavini admits that he enjoys making the clothes just as much as taking the resulting photograph.

Cubism: The Swiss-Italian photographer makes the costumes himself - out of cardboard

Cubism: The Swiss-Italian photographer makes the costumes himself – out of cardboard

Fashion through the ages: Tagliavini uses real models for the faces, but their angular outfits are all cut from different coloured cardboard

Fashion through the ages: Tagliavini uses real models for the faces, but their angular outfits are all cut from different coloured cardboard

Fashion through the ages: Tagliavini uses real models for the faces, but their angular outfits are all cut from different coloured cardboard

The project aims to show the temporary nature of fashion throughout the ages – in a playful way.

Tagliavini was born in 1971 and educated in Italy and Switzerland, where he lives and works as an graphic designer and a photographer.

His aim is to invent, create and ultimately produce images that blend fine arts and craftsmanship. Other projects include a collection that recreates costumes specifically from 1503, and a project called Chromofobia, depicting a fear of bright colours.

Double breasted - Fifties style: The Italian presents an exaggerated, cartoonish idea of what people wore at various times

Double breasted – Fifties style: The Italian presents an exaggerated, cartoonish idea of what people wore at various times

Even accessories like gloves and hats are made out of cardboard

Even accessories like gloves and hats are made out of cardboard

Scissors at the ready: Even accessories like gloves and hats are made out of cardboard